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   The Terrier Tattler
January 2006

Hello friends & fans –

Boy, did I have a great end to 2005 and start to 2006! 

My brother Wesley and I got to spend New Years Eve Day and New Years Day doing one of the things we love most - running with our friends at an agility trial!!!  We spent both days at an AKC Agility Trial in Merrillville, IN. We were going to spend the night in a hotel in Indiana (hotels are always very fun), but my assistant Tracy insisted on going back to the West Chicago Suburbs to go to a party on New Year’s Eve (and can you believe I wasn’t invited to the party!?!). But that’s ok, 'cause I got to spend the days with my dog friends at the trial. I guess that’s about the best way to spend a day… getting to do something fun (running agility), chase a few friends, and getting embarrassed by how much Tracy and the other dogs' assistants were laughing. I had a ball and you know what, I'm beginning to think maybe Tracy has even more fun than I do at these events!

I hope you all had a wonderful start to this new year! As always, I love to hear from you and this year more than ever, let me know what you want to read in The Tattler- it’s all about you, my fans!



Pull That Load

I like to highlight different dog activities/events for you my fans.  

This month's event requires a great deal of muscle (I prefer the finese of agility competition over this, but boy you need to be REALLY buff for this one!).   As always send me your feedback and suggestions at  Contact Us.   I also welcome contributions from you about your favorite activities!        


I’ve competed in the United Kennel Club’s  (UKC) agility competitions (and love it!),  but they have one type of event that I am not interested in trying, yet it was interesting to see it – the Weight Pull.   

As the name of the event suggests, dogs are competing to pull the most weight possible.  I can see that some dogs are really built for pulling heavy loads – but Westies are NOT one of these breeds!  Each dog is attached to a ‘cart’; that carries the weight.  The dog wears a harness, is attached to the cart and a certain amount of weight is placed on the cart.  The dog has to pull the cart a prescribed distance.  In the Weight Pull events I’ve watched, the carts had wheels on them, but they could also be on a rail or on snow using a sled (Tracy said it reminds her of Tractor Pulls back in Iowa).  Scoring is based upon how much weight the dog pulls the prescribed distance and by the proportion of their body weight to the amount of weight pulled.  Any size dogs can compete – I saw lots of big dogs (Rotweillers, St Bernards, Pit Bulls, etc.) but there were small dogs too (I even saw some Jack Russell Terriers and Rat Terriers). 

In some ways it reminded me of the wrestling meets my human cousins compete in.  Just like the wrestlers, the weight pull dogs have to ‘weigh in’.  Based upon their weight class, the minimum and maximum weights are determined:

Weight Class

Minimum Weight

Maximum Weight

15 lbs

no minimum

under 16 lbs

30 lbs

16 lbs

under 31 lbs

45 lbs

31 lbs

under 46 lbs

60 lbs

46 lbs

under 61 lbs

80 lbs

61 lbs

under 81 lbs

100 lbs

81 lbs

under 101 lbs

120 lbs

101 lbs

under 121 lbs


121 lbs

no maximum

Dogs compete to accomplish a variety of Weight Pull titles:

To receive qualifying legs towards a title, a dog must pull the weight for 16 feet within 60 seconds.  Dogs score points based upon pounds of weight pulled per pound of body weight and the dog pulling the most weight gets bonus points:


Pounds of weight pulled per pound of dog’s body weight











Most weight pulled in event: Five bonus points shall be awarded to the dog (or dogs, in the event of a tie) pulling the most weight in the event provided the dog has earned the UWP title before the day’s pull.


Most weight pulled per pound of body weight: Five bonus points shall be awarded to the dog (or dogs, in the event of a tie) pulling the most weight per pound of body weight in the event provided the dog has earned the UWP title before the day’s pull. This shall be calculated by taking the highest number of pounds pulled by a dog and dividing it by the dog’s weight.



As you can see, these dogs pull more than weight in competition.  I tried to get Tracy to pull 35 pounds for every pound of her body weight, but she wasn't willing to even talk about it!!  That's ok, I'll pass on this event and let the really BIG dogs take on this one! 





Doggie Duds!

OK, in this edition I’m taking a departure to the traditional Doggie Duds column.  This month I’m not sharing DO and DON’T Dog Fashion advice.  Instead, I’m sharing a FASHION story about another animal in need of clothing!  And yes, this story is TRUE – Tracy validated it on the Snopes site!

Oil spills are tragedies that pollute our oceans and kill or injure many of the special animals that live in the seas.  To survive, birds and mammals have to be rescued and cleaned – a huge task.  An oil spill in 2000 near Australia threatened tiny penguins that lived there.  The rescue workers tried many ways to keep the penguins warm and keep them from ingesting the toxic oil (they would swallow it when the picked at their feathers to clean themselves).  Then the idea of using doll sweaters was suggested.  It kept the little guys warm and protected them.  The call went out and soon around the world, knitters were making all kinds of little penguin sweaters.   The nature preserve on the island has more sweaters than are needed today, but my goodness these little birds look so darn cute. 

Here are a couple of links for more details:

Tracy has made sweaters for me and Wes, but I may suggest that Tracy make some sweaters for the pet birds in my house: Bernard and Becca our cockatiels! 


Ab Fabs!!
Absolutely Fabulous Accomplishments - submit your Ab Fabs to 




UACH Fiona!!!     

My classmate Corgi Fiona is a great little agility dog and she just got her UACH (UKC Agility Champion) title.  To celebrate Fiona’s ‘mom’ Pam brought treats to our agility class.  Tracy wouldn’t let me have any of the cheesecake, but everyone was raving about how good it was!  If anyone needs the recipe, you can let me know and I’ll ask Tracy to email it to you (if you promise to give me a bite!).   CONGRATS to Miss Fi! 


Happy Holidays for M&M!!! 

Many of you have heard about my buddies Murray and MacKenzie.  Like me, they are terriers – but these guys are awesome on the agility course.  Front & Finish Magazine printed their 2004 Agility Standings. Murray was the #1 Cairn in Standard with 324 points and #4 in Jumpers with 83 points.  The rating is based on the number of dogs competing within each class. One point is earned for each dog defeated in the class.  Both Murray and MacKenzie had some great runs at the mid-December Hounds for the Holiday’s agility trial in Milwaukee – it was a great way to celebrate the holidays.  Here’s a picture of my two favorite Cairns with their winnings from Hounds (wearing the cute little collars that Wes & I gave them for Christmas!). 


A Lab-alicious Holiday!! 


My lab buddy Shadow sure knew what her mom Michelle wanted for Christmas.  Shadow earned her U-CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) title – it’s an advanced obedience title – I really admire any dog that can earn obedience titles – I don’t know that I could do it!  

Big congrats to Shadow and Michelle. 





To make Michelle even happier, Shadow’s ‘sister’ DB got her Open AKC Agility Title!! 

What a month it’s been in the Riccelli household!